Between the Acts

Broj 1 - Godina 7 - 12/2016



The papers collected within this entr'acte issue use different perspectives and standpoints to explore what happens between the acts – regardless of whether these are acts of a play, acts of speech or some other kind of social intercourse, or – broadly speaking – various acts/actions/activities that pertain to fictional worlds. It could arguably be expected that between the acts there is nothing of significance – utter silence and empty rows of seats in a theatre hall – or some form of light entertainment at best. These spatiotemporal lacunae, vacancies left gaping for however short a time, still possess the power, as all the papers in this issue seem to indicate, to construct and project new meanings of their own, or at the very least create potential for re-interpreting the adjacent ideas and contents, as well as exploring the problems of context, causality and sequence.

The opening article on Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, authored by Stipe Grgas, offers a re-thinking of the sea as this space in-between, considered within the philosophical framework of meontology. Fariba NoorBakhsh and Fazel Asadi Amjad go on to explore textual representations of history, focusing on how the gap between the self and the world is, as expressed in Graham Swift’s Waterland, filled with fiction. Joshua Adair in his interesting piece on Oscar Wilde and Beverley Nichols examines the very concept of performativity in the context of the gap between one’s private and public persona, as well as the temporal gap between the two authors which bred numerous similarities and influences. Matija Ivačić furthers the discussion about influences in his text on Karel Čapek and Czech crime fiction, and so does Ana Gospić Županović in her elaboration of Konstantin Sergeievich Stanislavski’s and Jerzy Grotowski’s work on and development of the method of physical action in acting. The following articles move towards more socially relevant issues. Thus Melina Nikolić interprets silences in confrontational discourse either as dramatic pauses used to draw the attention to what is about to be said, or else as important signifiers of power relations. Ritika Singh in her topical analysis of the position of ‘140 stories’ on social networks regards this digital form of art as a certain kind of dramatic tension created to fill the almost imperceptible empty spaces between the posts on our timelines.

This issue also offers reviews of three recent publications. Branka Kovačević presents Agatha: The Real Life of Agatha Christie, a 2016 biography in the form of a graphic novel, in which the tension between the private and the public is played out in such a way that it remains, among the numerous mystery novels penned by the famous author, the ultimate mystery. Emilija Musap reviews Horror: A Literary History (2016), providing a referential framework for reading the unspeakable moments of horror within the numerous products of the genre as powerful tools for social critique. Lastly, Mario Županović leads us back to the world of performance – and beyond – in his review of the 2014 publication Historical Dictionary of South American Cinema.

What happens in the translation entr’acte? What happens between the original and its . . . well, other original? Is the space between the translation and the original a mirror, a non-existing gap where two symmetrical texts converge? Does that mirror produce a negative image, characterized by the absence rather than the presence, or does it simply produce another image, another world, “the other side of the mirror,” another presence? Since the answer is already known, could we, “with no great injury to logic” and following the musings of Julian Barnes’ “jocular lexicographer” who defined a net as a “collection of holes tied together with a string,” reverse the image and define the translation as a “collection of holes – literary and cultural holes – tied together with text”?

On our translation map in this issue, the spatiotemporal, cultural and literary lacunae between Sweden, Germany, India, Austria and Brasil are filled (or just tied together in a “collection of holes”) with splendid translations into Croatian. Željka Černok, Sanja Matković, Marijana Janjić, Romana Perečinec and Petra Petrač, respectively, intertwine the fabrics of Lina Wolff’s short story about the supernatural (or the lack thereof), Manfred Kyber’s tale (for children?), Mridula Garg’s ecofeminist story, Andrea Grill’s avant-garde poetry, and an excerpt from Fernando Sabino’s coming-of-age novel into the current literary translation section.

So, remain in your seats as silence and darkness engulf the stage and enjoy unwinding the fine textual string this [sic] offers.

Ana Stanić

Tijana Parezanović